As you’ll see in our 2020 State of Texting report coming out next month, business texting is gaining momentum. For those of you who haven’t adopted texting, we know you have questions about texting your customers. So let’s get to the basics – the who, what, why, when and how about texting for business and Zipwhip.
Below, we answer a few frequently asked questions from potential customers, as reported by our sales team. Stay tuned for more FAQs in future blog posts!
Q: What is texting for business?
A: Texting for business is a little different than texting your friends and family. Because of the volume of people that a business deals with and the variety of use cases that texting can be applied to, businesses need certain features that the native texting apps on personal phones just don’t offer.
This is where texting tools like Zipwhip come in. Business texting software is equipped with features you need to text efficiently and keep your communications organized. Like automation features, such as Scheduled Messages and Auto-Replies. There’s also the advantage of being able to text from your desktop with business texting software because getting work done on a small screen can be uncomfortable in the long run.
Another major difference between personal texting and business texting is complying with Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) best practices. As a business, any time you’re texting customers, whether you’re doing so from your personal phone or using software, you should be following TCPA best practices to minimize legal risk (more on this topic in the next question below).
We highly recommend reading our free e-book TCPA Compliance: Best Practices for Two-Way Texting to understand why the TCPA is important. We also include a few dos and don’ts to keep in mind.
Q: Why can’t I just use the native texting app on my cell phone to text my customers?
A: Aside from not having access to convenient texting features, using your personal cell phone to text customers comes with security and compliance risks.
When using your native messaging app, there’s no centralized platform for management to access text messages, and because of the limited encryption technology available, your messages are left vulnerable to prying eyes.
In a text conversation, personally identifiable information (such as a full name or email and home address) is exchanged, and sometimes that’s all that’s needed to start the process of stealing someone’s identity. If an employee were to leave your company, have their phone stolen or lose their device, those customer conversations – along with any sensitive information contained in those messages – are now out of your company’s reach.
Plus, when employees text through a medium not controlled by the company, management is essentially giving up control over conversations between their teams and customers. Without that oversight, management can’t keep track of how customer service is handled, what information employees are sharing with customers, what teams are doing well and what teams need to improve.
As for compliance, there are TCPA regulations to follow that business texting software can help with, including proper opt-out practices.
Your best bet is to forgo using your native messaging app and adopt business texting software. Check out our suggestions for staying compliant and protecting your business when texting customers.
Q: How will this affect my phone line?
A: The only way your phone line will be affected is that your customers can now text you. Your phone line will still function for calls, just like it always has. Zipwhip doesn’t interfere with your current set up (such as extensions, forwarding, etc.), and it doesn’t affect your current phone bill.
And yes, you can be on the phone and send and receive text messages on the Zipwhip platform at the same time. Learn more about texting customers with your landline phone here.
Q: How will my customers know they can text me?
A: It’s likely they’re already texting you. Many of our new users report receiving backlogged messages once their landline phone has been text-enabled with Zipwhip. Most consumers just expect to have the option to text a phone number.
However, letting your customers know they can text you will take a little bit of simple marketing on your part. Watch our quick how-to video below with Zipwhip’s chief marketing officer Scott Heimes.
Q: Is Zipwhip encrypted and secure at the carrier level?
Yes and yes.
Our carrier partnerships allow us to maintain a safe and reliable text messaging platform. We’re the only business texting software with direct connectivity to major mobile network carriers, including Sprint, Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T, which enables us to send and store texts securely with industry-leading anti-spam safeguards.
And we offer data encryption for every text message in transit and rest. If you want the nitty gritty, we encrypt message body data (including personally identifiable information) at rest using AES 256. Messages are also encrypted in transit using TLS 1.2 and IPSec VPN tunnels throughout our network.
Our relationship with carriers is awesome for lots of other reasons, too. To learn more, check out this blog post about why our carriers help make us the best business texting service available.
Have more questions or just want to learn how to get started with texting your customers? We wrote an entire e-book to help you learn the ins and outs of adopting texting software, training your team, texting etiquette, how to market your texting capabilities and much more. Download The Ultimate Guide to Texting Your Customers here.